Understanding the Criminal and Civil Justice Systems

documentation of the event. Very detailed photographs and graphic video of the scene are often used in the prosecution of people who have been suspected of committing a crime. A separate Traffic Homicide Investigation Report will be prepared in some jurisdictions, if the crash involved a death or serious injuries. The Traffic Homicide Investigation Report will be much more thorough than the Traffic Crash Report. Likewise, this report will often not be completed and made available until after the homicide investigation is complete. This process can take months. Crime victims/survivors often feel an urgency to obtain copies of these reports. If you wish to secure a copy of these reports, contact the investigating officer. Be sure to review the reports with your advocate or attorney. If you see errors, report them immediately to the investigating officer, whose name should be included in the report. Even if the errors seem minor, they may be crucial in court. There are usually notations on the report if the driver has been suspected of drinking or using other drugs. If so, you will see a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level or “pending results” indication on the report. BAC is determined by breath, blood or urine testing shortly after the crime was committed. If the tests were not performed, you can question why they weren’t. Valid BAC testing is essential to assist in the prosecution of the case. If this is not done, cases are subject Proper testing and investigation is important for successful prosecution of a case.


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